An ambitious partnership delivering world-class engineering innovation

Article posted on: 24th September 2021

In a recently published post-pandemic construction insight released earlier this year, Clancy Consulting and Farrat both discussed the impact of recent societal and legislative events on client expectations, best practice, technology utilisation and subsequent evolution of ‘smarter and more collaborative’ working. It’s due to this smarter and collaborative working which has seen a true, and ambitious, partnership develop over the years.

Since 2015 the businesses have been working together to design and deliver innovative solutions for whole building isolation. Vibration isolation is used to support buildings and building structures to provide protection from low frequency ground-borne noise and vibration generated from external sources, such as underground railways, for the entire life of the building.

Our collaboration over the last six years has seen some 35 commissions to date across a range of projects, from Manchester’s newest cultural space, which will be one of the leading worldwide incubators for new, cutting-edge art, to several residential towers in London, encountering a multitude of challenges presented by the Capital’s tube, rail and road networks.

Providing a glimpse into a couple of our recent projects, Civil and Structural Associate, Paul Fleming provides an overview on how the successful collaboration continues to develop.

“Over a number of years, there has been an increasing expectation on new developments to deliver the highest standards of acoustic and vibration performance. Whether that’s preventing noise and vibration passing from one area of a building to another or preventing external influences disturbing the comfort of the internal environment. We work together with Farrat to find the solution.

“We have supported Farrat on some significantly challenging projects more recently. Building isolation from ground vibration due to below ground rail networks often leads to full building isolation being considered as the highest standard of protection.

“The brief is often simple, we need a break between these two points to carry a certain load. It’s only when you drill into the detail that the challenges of geometry, load path, movement, shear load transfer, collapse tie provision, to name a few, become apparent”.

 

Dealing with challenging environments

In 2020, the Clancy/Farrat team worked together to deliver Ashley Road East, a new 183-unit mixed-use development located in Tottenham Hale.

Paul explains, “A key challenge when building in London is the surrounding network of the London Underground, railway lines, high traffic roads and activity from the busy city life each causing significant noise and vibration disturbance.

“Vibration generated from the London Underground Victoria Line would cause significant structural problems to the proposed development site and without building vibration isolation there would be a substantial risk of disruption from structure-borne noise.

“We brought Farrat into the project at the pre-construction stage, to assist in developing a variety of isolation solutions to mitigate against both structural and thermal disturbances impacting on building performance.”

 

Efficient long-term solutions

Together, the team designed a Base Vibration Isolation system as the most efficient long-term solution to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for the entire lifetime of the building. The assemblies within the system were designed, manufactured, and then supplied directly to the site and throughout the construction phase, Farrat supported the project team with regular on-site installation guidance and post-installation inspection.

At the extreme end of things, Clancy/Farrat partnership developed the affectionately named ‘Big Bertha’, which was capable of delivering 2400kN of shear across the isolation joint as well as a sizable 8400kN vertically, yet simultaneously preventing the transmission of vibration into the building it is supporting. The product is supplied by Farrat to the highest standard of manufacturing and installation support, with our team providing guidance and support through the design and installation stages, so that it can be integrated into the construction.

Oliver Farrell, Farrat CEO, also comments, “Our goal at Farrat is to maximise the return on investment for our clients, which generally means maximising the space available out of already challenging plots of land. In order to achieve this, like Olympic athletes, we are constantly challenging ourselves to push the boundaries. Clancy has helped us to achieve this in a wide range of projects to create successful outcomes either by providing the intricate detailed design to get our creative ideas to work or bringing their own creativity to find solutions to seemingly impossible challenges and always with the comfort that the final design will be robust and buildable. They are a pleasure to work with.”

 

So, what’s next for the partnership?

This is a true example of a successful partnership that we are both delighted to be a part of. The market remains buoyant, and we’re currently working together on several schemes around the country. With an increasing number of city centre developments in the pipeline, this specialist work continues to be in high demand. Exciting times ahead.

 

Image: Big Bertha

 

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